10508 NE 41st Street Special Mission Trip Report
Vancouver, WA 98682 Shalom Native Mission

“Practice makes perfect”

This was the theme of my long and adventurous journey. It doesn’t formulate perfection in me however; the long journey provided an opportunity to grow in faith. I experienced the intervention of God on numerous occasions: the obtaining of a travel visa less than 45 minutes before takeoff, misplacing my passport, or an hour late for reporting data for the lab in Australia. These were all nerve wrenching experiences, yet it brought the family together at the prayer altar while thousands of miles apart. The enemy’s weapons of confusion were met with prayer both on the home front and on the field and in every case the Lord was victorious. The protection of God was evident in troubled NE India, ruled by several organized insurgent groups and the Indian army, known for kidnapping of officers, businessmen, foreigners, and my own cousin for ransom. My yearly trip to the region for 3-7 days at a time occurs without event as I thankfully return home untouched. Many call this good luck or chance occurrences, but I know this blessing as the power of prayer of God’s people.

Disappointment Turns to Opportunity

When I was told 45 minutes before takeoff in Bangkok, Thailand, that I needed a visa to travel to Melbourne, Australia, I dropped my head and wondered how I was going to get out of this mess. (Was previously told I could obtain the visa upon entry into Australia.) However, God knew exactly how it would turn out. My wife, after driving 15 minutes to get home from an activity with the kids, was able to obtain an e-visa for me just moments before time ran out forcing me to take a later flight thus postponing my arrival to Melbourne and being able to start work. This was God’s way of teaching me patience and trusting him even when there was very little to hang on to. My wife is still amazed that less than 20 minutes after applying for the e-visa, I was on board the plane which was preparing for takeoff. God is good!
Another unexpected situation turned out to be God’s providence to share the message of salvation to someone from another part of the world. The branch manager of OMIC Melbourne did not show up at the airport to receive me on the basis of wrong information. I had to take a taxi to my hotel. The taxi driver was Nepali. This not only opened an opportunity to share Christ with him but also to use his cell phone (mine was not functioning correctly at that time) to call my wife, who was waiting to hear whether the e-visa was correct and entry into Australia was possible. Trusting the Lord in every situation is never easy. However, when we do trust, God moves and gives the victory and the assurance that he will and can do it again.

Victory Is a Precious Thing to Experience

Too often we are slow to learn, impatient, and needing to go through several defeats before we learn to lean on him and enjoy victory. One lesson God is teaching me is that eventual victory will be slow in coming since I am dismantling the leadership structure of Shalom Academy. In every organization there are people with feelings, likes, and dislikes. Whenever there are changes, feelings and nerves requiring a clinical repairer—the Holy Ghost intervention, are touched. My wife shared a message she heard from a visiting evangelist while I was gone based on the life of Elijah in 1 Kings 18. Elijah asked God to manifest his power so the people might know that the Lord, he is God, and none other. After repairing the altar he didn’t preach a long sermon, play theatrics around the altar, or any of the other tactics of the priests of Baal. He simply prayed and then got out of the way so God could respond. Very often I set my own agenda for the school and the projects we have and after trying to implement them as God’s plan but ending in failure, I wonder why God is not blessing. God’s word is still true, “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Prov. 14:12. I now realize that many of the plans I envision for the ministry, including the school, often end in failure and defeat because God simply is not in it. The sixty-three words of Elijah’s prayer in I Kings 18:36 were powerful enough for God to display his mighty act because Elijah prayed according to God’s will and then he stay out of God’s way. Pray for me as much work is yet to be done to prepare Shalom Academy for the coming school year. We are still seeking God’s way instead of our own. The school must be run the Lord’s way if lives are to be changed for eternity.

Shalom Academy Ministry

The ministry of Shalom Academy takes another turn as far as leadership is concerned for this coming school year. The governing body of three placed last year did not function well largely due to pride and an unwillingness to submit to authority and to one another. After much prayer and consideration the leadership of the school was given back to my niece, Hoinu, for the 2013 school year. She will put a team of dedicated teachers together and Mr. Jangam Singsit will assist her behind the scenes. There are several challenges for this coming school year. We seek the Lord’s will to be done in all of this. Please pray for the specific items listed here knowing that without His intervention we cannot function as a clear witness to the students and families we desire to reach. 1) Wisdom for Hoinu, so she may have a teachable spirit; 2) For the recruitment of ten God-fearing teachers to be finalized by mid January; 3) Pray that God will send both students and teachers willing to be taught; 4) That we will return to a strong Biblical standard in order for lives to be changed for eternity; and, 5) Shalom will continue to shine as a testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ in spite of so much negative publicity from this past year.

On a Positive Note: Joy and gladness fill the hearts of Native pastors

What a blessing to see the expression of joy and gratitude on the faces of the pastors when we rolled out the scooters and motor cycle bought for them with money given by faithful people in the US and UK. They expressed deep gratitude and appreciation for the gifts and were thankful to God and to those who gave sacrificially to make this dream a reality. These pastors will be able to travel faster and cover more areas, touching more lives, as a result of using motorized vehicles. Motor scooters/cycles may not be much in the West, but it is like owning a car in India. In fact, many Indians use scooters as the family car and can transport four people (2 adults and 2 children) at a time. Thus far these pastors have been using public transportation, which is unpredictable, expensive, and slow. Those days are a thing of the past and they are glad to be where they are. Thank you to all that had a part, whether financially or prayerfully, in making this project a reality.

On the Home Front

My family wants to make sure that all of you are thanked for your prayers, not only for me while I was gone, but on their behalf also. Life is different when Hepa (Daddy) is not around. The kids were affected more this year than other years at my being gone. In part this came from being older and understanding better my being gone, but also from a relationship standpoint that is beginning to make heart changes. We are thankful for God’s working in our children in so many areas this past year—spiritually (both made professions of salvation this fall), relationally as family relating together, and physically and mentally as they grow and mature. We are blessed as this year finishes up and as we look forward to what the Lord is doing in the days ahead—both at home and abroad. May we continue to seek His face, His way, and His touch in our lives.
On behalf of the India team,
Chong, Rhoda and the kids

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